Identifying Clean Foods

Since most of the foods we eat – except for fresh fruits and vegetables – have been infused with certain chemicals that slow down the aging process, clean eating also means you’re going to be reading ingredients lists. Generally, the shorter the list, the closer your food is to its natural state.  If you see ingredients you can’t pronounce, you may want to look for something more natural.  Since ingredients are listed with the largest amounts first, the lower down those unpronounceable items are on the list, the better.  If vitamins or minerals are added the food is considered processed, but this processing is probably less dangerous than other things that could be added.  Removing the germ and bran from whole grains when making bread is another form of processing, but it is not as dangerous as the chemicals added to lengthen a product’s shelf life.  Since it is so difficult to find foods in a purely natural state, clean eating does accept minimal processing.  This means it’s okay to cook foods, but when you can, you’ll want to opt for fresh tomatoes that you cut up and crush yourself instead of opening a can of crushed tomatoes.  Rule of thumb: The fewer ingredients in any packaged food, the “cleaner” it will be.

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